A House for Mr Biswas

V. S. Naipaul

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17 February 2022
640 pages



One of BBC’s 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Heart-rending and darkly comic, V. S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas has been hailed as one of the twentieth century’s finest novels, a classic that evokes a man’s quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad.

Mr Biswas has been told since the day of his birth that misfortune will follow him – and so it has. Meaning only to avoid punishment, he causes the death of his father and the dissolution of his family. Wanting simply to flirt with a beautiful woman, he ends up marrying her. But in spite of endless setbacks, Mr Biswas is determined to achieve independence, and so he begins the gruelling struggle to buy a home of his own.

Part of the Picador Collection, a new series showcasing the best of modern literature.

A work of great comic power qualified with firm and unsentimental compassion

A marvellous prose epic that matches the best nineteenth-century novels


Naipaul’s masterpiece…[he has] a journalist’s eye for detail and a Dickensian gift for portraiture